A new study published in the journal Current Psychology explores the intricate dynamics of how celebrity and peer influences shape fans’ online engagement intentions in the realm of fandom philanthropy.
This research delves into normative social behaviour theory, offering new insights into how perceived norms from different sources affect fan behaviours online.
Fandom philanthropy, a form of charitable activity primarily led by fan communities, has gained significant traction in the digital era. Often inspired or endorsed by celebrities, these activities have broad implications for social causes.
The study, which surveyed 463 self-identified celebrity fans, aimed to understand how perceived norms from celebrities and peers impact fans’ engagement in online philanthropic activities.
The research findings indicate a fascinating interplay between celebrity and peer influence. Perceived descriptive norms from both celebrities and peers were positively associated with fans’ online engagement intentions. Interestingly, while fans’ attitudes towards fandom philanthropy mediated the relationship between descriptive peer norms and online engagement intentions, descriptive celebrity norms did not significantly correlate with fans’ attitudes.
The study also sheds light on the role of personal norms – individual beliefs and moral obligations – in influencing engagement in fandom philanthropy. It was found that personal norms were strongly associated with fans’ attitudes and online engagement intentions. Moreover, the relationship between descriptive celebrity norms and online engagement intentions was more salient among fans with weaker personal norms, suggesting that personal beliefs play a pivotal role in guiding fan behaviours.
The study’s findings have substantial implications for understanding online fan dynamics and the power of celebrity influence in shaping social behaviours. It offers a nuanced perspective on how fans interact with and are influenced by celebrity and peer actions in the digital space.
By highlighting the importance of personal norms, the research provides a comprehensive understanding of the factors driving fan engagement in online philanthropic activities.